28 Sep Winning with Bloggers
The changing digital landscape brings with it challenges, especially when it comes to working with bloggers. More bloggers are starting to charge for posts when working with brands and in this day and age, companies now more than ever need to build strong ties to influential bloggers and digital influencers.
If you are struggling to break through and connect with bloggers, here are the top tips to achieve results with bloggers.
Research, research, research
It’s important to do your homework before approaching bloggers. Research is key, if you’re not already following the blog and their social media channels, do so. Catch up on their latest posts and read their ‘About’ section. This will allow you to understand their style and audience, gage how active they are on social media and keep an eye out for opportunities.
By keeping up-to-date with their channels, you will also gain an insight into the blogger’s personal life, which is a great conversation starter and relationship builder.
Know the audience
This applies to not only the blogger’s audience but with whom who are trying to communicate with. When identifying blogs you want to work with, consider their audience and ensure they fit your brand. This information is usually outlined in their media kit or in their ‘About’ section. It’s also a good rule of thumb to read their posts and navigate through the blog prior to approaching them.
Create a tailored and targeted list
Once you have done your research, identify the bloggers you want to work with and develop a list of who you want to reach out to. Creating a targeted list will be beneficial to ensure you are approaching bloggers that suit your brand. Don’t always target bloggers with the highest reach, approaching a blog with a smaller reach can work just as well, if not better as this will allow you to grow with the relationship, develop a campaign or ongoing partnership. Include the name, title, and email address and status section to keep track of who you have pitched to and followed up.
Once your list is developed and you are familiar with the blogs you can approach them.
Before you start pitching, it’s important to establish a relationship. You wouldn’t ask a favour of someone you had just met and the same goes for bloggers. Reach out and introduce yourself with a brief backgrounder, compliment their blog and show that you have engaged with their content. This will be helpful to not only foster a relationship and provide a conversation starter, but you will be much more successful in future pitches.
Create engaging content
A two-way relationship is the most beneficial, so identify how your offering can benefit the blog and their readers. Offer them something unique, an incentive for their followers. Compelling content is key, as this is what draws readers to a blog in the first place.
New research, an interesting video, recipes or an interview with someone who appeals to their audience can all spark a bloggers interest. Giveaways and product reviews are another way to engage with a blogger’s audience if they are not interested in the content.
More bloggers are starting to charge a fee, so you may need to offer a mixture of the above or if you do want to work with an influential blogger, consider a cost may be involved.
Perfect your pitch
Pitches should be personalised to each blogger. Write a compelling subject line. Be brief, aim to share your story and product, and engage the blogger with links and high res images.
Be polite and always address the blogger by name, never send out a blanket email as they receive hundreds a day and are less likely to respond. Bloggers pride themselves on authenticity and won’t be interested if they know you are approaching other blogs with the same content.
Bloggers may also take longer to respond than the media so leave at least a week to follow up if you haven’t heard from them.
Foster blogger partnerships
A collaborative approach with bloggers is key, be personable, but professional. Unlike journalists, bloggers want to collaborate with brands and build long-term partnerships. Keep the communication open and ongoing and see what they are working on and don’t always expect a post in return.
Finally, don’t forget to say Thank You when they do post, send a hand written note or keep in touch even when you have nothing to offer.